Tips for Staying in Your Home for Life
When Older Americans Month was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, only 17 million Americans reached their 65th birthday. This is the 60th anniversary of Older Americans Month, and we know that there are now 50 million Americans that have reached their 65th birthday. The population of Americans reaching the milestone of 65 and older is projected to reach 71 million by 2030, and the population of Americans ages 85 and older will have grown to over 33 million. By 2030, all baby boomers will have reached the age of 65 and older.
Jonathan Vespa from the Census Bureau comments, “By 2035, there will be 78 million people 65 years and older, compared to 76.4 million under the age of 18” (AARP, 2023).
We know that 90% of adults prefer to stay in their homes. Aging in place is a term used to describe one’s desire to stay in their home for life. How can someone age in place with dignity, independence, and quality of life? When planning for your future as you age, several factors are crucial.
There are six areas to explore as you look to stay in your home for life.
- Evaluate your home for potential safety concerns such as clutter, ongoing maintenance, and maneuverability. It is important to consider modifications and assistive devices to help reduce falls, such as grab bars, threshold ramps, sufficient lighting, and anti-slip flooring.
- Make your health a priority, including annual physical evaluations, medication reviews, exercise, and a healthy diet. Experts recommend a heart-healthy diet.
- Transportation: It is important to evaluate transportation and delivery options in your area to determine if you cannot drive and how you will continue to participate in your community.
- Embrace technology, as this can keep you connected to your community and provide a variety of connections to available resources. Technology has come a long way and is helpful for staying connected.
- Research long-term care insurance to determine if this is an option based on your situation. At some point, it is expected that most people will need some long-term care in the future and Medicare does not cover costs such as personal care, transportation, long term facility care such as nursing home or assisted living. Long-term care insurance (although costly) can help cover this cost, which many times could be more financially feasible.
- Plan ahead and complete Advance Directives and discuss with your friends and loved ones how you plan to maintain independence, dignity, and quality of life as you age. It is essential that your friends and family understand your wishes if you cannot make those decisions.
At Durable Assistance & Consulting, we know life is better at home and are experts in helping individuals and families plan for their future, promoting independence, dignity, and improved quality of life.
Julie Leith, LMSW, MBA is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist whose mission is to change the stigma of aging and promote healthy and positive aging. She is the mother of a teenage girl, married to a wonderful husband and is living her best life.
Contact Julie at email@example.com to connect.